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The Sun Is Shining

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Polgara has been doing it for centuries, over and over again. It all started with Riva Iron-Grip's last heir, Geran, over one thousand and five hundred years ago. She still remembers how she felt all those centuries ago, when she saw a small boy floundering in the icy waters in front of the Isle of the Winds. She didn't think twice before transforming from her hawk form back to herself, and diving head on to save Geran. It was the most important task of her life so far.

Polgara is used to dealing with loss, but it still hurts as much as it did the first time. Human life is so short compared to hers. Sometimes Polgara wonders what her life would have been if she had been "normal" like Beldaran – would she have married and had children, living her life in peace? Deep down inside Polgara knows she would have never been satisfied with a life like that. It's in her blood to be bold and adventurous, just like her father (even if she does her best to deny in similarities between them). Once upon a time she vaguely thought she could have a normal life with Ontrose, even if she would have outlived him eventually. But it was only a pipe dream – it was Durnik that was meant to be her intended in the end. She made a promise to Aldur to look after the Rivan heirs, and promises to the gods are not made to be broken.

Over the years she has been the Duchess of Erat, Baroness Pelera and even Torak's intended bride by the Mallorean prophecies and Ashabine Oracles (although Polgara was less than pleased when she found about the last one of those). During that time she has raised countless sand-haired boys, always waiting for the final Child of Light. In her memories Polgara thinks the past in two separate pieces: before the assassination, and after. Before the assassination there were Daran, Cherek and Gorek, among others. Daran was the most dearest to her, for he was Beldaran's only child and her direct nephew. It doesn't matter how many centuries she has lived, though, for they all were her nephews in the end.

Polgara is grateful she learned medicine all those years ago from Arell, Argark, Salheim and Balten. Those skills were more than useful when dealing with little accident-prone boys. If only she had been able to save Beldaran back then. While most people might say that life is too short for regrets, Polgara does not share that sentiment for obvious reasons. How could she?

There have been many young boys since Geran and Polgara's manor. There was Davon, a fur-buyer in Darine; Alten the furrier who unfortunately died of pestilence along with his wife Ellette. There was another Geran, Alten's son, who became a physician. There was Darion, whom she had to urgently move from Solturn to Kotu because Murgos were after them. There were Khelan, Gariel, Daran and Geran as well. Oh yes, Polgara knows she keeps on using variations of the family names over and over again, but she can't help it. It's part of the continuance, designated by the Necessities. Some things were just meant to happen over and over again until the final battle.

There was Darel, a blacksmith in Aldurford, who died of a heart attack. There was Garel, who died after falling from a horse when his son Gelane was only six years old. Polgara took Gelane and his mother Aravina to Sendaria, where Gelane became a cooper. For a while things were well, until Polgara found out Gelane had joined the Bear-cult. Things were not looking great at that point, no. It was this close that Chamdar didn't destroy their carefully constructed plans there and then. With the help of her father, though, Gelane was freed from Chamdar's mental domination. It was then decided that Gelane would be better off to live somewhere else – like in Emgaard for instance.

Then there was Darral and his wife Alara, who lived in Annath near the Algarian border. Their son was yet another Geran, for it seemed fitting at the time, even if Polgara didn't know why back then. Now that she knows that Geran was destined to be the father of the God-Slayer it all makes sense. The Necessities have their way, after all.

Geran goes and marries Ildera, an Algarian girl, and continues working in the mines with his father. Soon, Darral is killed in a mysterious rockslide that makes no sense – Geran is baffled as to why a stable rock formation collapsed on his father all of a sudden. But it's worse for poor Alara, who goes mad after her husband's death. On the surface everything looks fine, but it isn't. Alara keeps on cooking meals for Darral and waits for his return every single day. She searches for him, day after day, and nothing Pol does makes her accept the truth. It's in vain.

If only they had known back then it was all Chamdar's doing, again. He makes Ildera go into a false labour, and while Polgara is there to help with the supposed birth, Alara goes searching for Darral again. And the moment when Polgara leaves Ildera to search for Alara, her labour is not so false anymore. When Polgara returns after discovering that Alara had walked off the cliff, she sees the house in flames and her father holding a small bundle – Garion. Both Geran and Ildera are dead, and she is the only person left to take care of Garion, the Child of Light, the God-Slayer. With that in mind, Polgara takes Garion to Sendaria, at Faldor's farm. She does not tell Garion anything of his heritage to protect him – there are so many ways things could go wrong before the final battle.

Garion was the one Polgara had been waiting for all those years while raising small boys generations after generations. She gave Garion a chance to be a normal boy - then the Orb of Aldur was stolen, and the final battle between the Necessities was looming over them. Over the two years it took them to finish their quest, Polgara has never been more proud of her nephews. Garion may never be as dear to her as Daran was, but he is a close second. It takes some exceptional power to defeat a god, even a fallen one, at the age of 16.

The circle is finally closed in 5380 when Garion and Ce'Nedra's son Geran is born. All is well in Riva.